Friday, May 14, 2010


It was a while ago. The quote was from Boris Pasternak's 'Doctor Zhivago.'

"The hotel staff were being driven frantic; the incident in No.23 was only one more nuisance added to their daily vexations."

I got a good start, but got stuck exactly at half way. I've been sitting on it since, hoping that I might be able to finish it one day. I give up. Here it is unfinished.


The hotel staff were being driven frantic; the incident in No.23 was only one more nuisance added to their daily vexations.

"What happens on Vega5 stays on Vega5" was the mantra, and the staff was accustomed to the vagaries of intergalactic gamblers, pleasure seekers, tourist, and assorted riffraff of the Milky Way. They were proficient at removing blood and other bodily fluids from carpet and upholstery. They had, on many occasion, demonstrated their considerable aptitude for extracting giant lizards from toilet bowls, tigers from tanks, gonzo journalist from sticky substances and circumstances.

The staff hadn’t been fazed when the Orion Adult Entertainer Awards and the Judoon Mercenary Training Workshop fell on the same weekend. However, the five-day Terran Literary and Cinematic Conference set their teeth on edge. On Sunday Greek Tragedies and Italian Neorealism got drunk and started a fight with Manga and Graphic Novels. The staff was picking up stray speech bubbles and scrubbing pathos out of the carpet for days.

On Tuesday inexplicable darkness shrouded the entire hotel, and chill swept through the hallways. The suspicion first fell on Film Noir, but after the howling and the rattling of chains started there was no doubt that it was the doing of Gothic Horror.

On Wednesday the staff was chasing after yellow butterflies that were following the woman in No.23, and were slowly spreading through the hotel. She was staying with a huge black cat that walked on his hind legs, spoke flawless Galactic, and had penchant for vodka.


  1. I like this... and I totally get why it's a chore to finish. Reminds me of "Callahan's Crosstime Saloon" by Spider Robinson. Might have to pull it off my shelf and reread it this week.

  2. I don't know that one, I'll have to look it up. "Spider Robinson" - what an awesome name!

    I fly the nerd flag in this story. Within 250 measly words I managed to reference Star Trek, Doctor Who, Bulgakov, an old TV commercial, Hunter S. Thompson, not to mention a couple of literary and cinematic genres.

  3. Vanda: Hoorah for pop culture clashes. This is such a tantalising start. I do hope you manage to finish it one day (or at least allow us a sneak peek at the next chapter).

  4. Sorry, I'm afraid I'm completely stuck.